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Local surfer one of 44 new junior doctors joining Peninsula Health

Dr Sam Johnson grew up surfing on the Mornington Peninsula.

The 25-year-old is excited to be back in the area to complete his graduate year in medical training, after spending the last few years studying at Melbourne University.

“I used to surf heaps before medicine, then it went on the back burner, but hopefully now I’m back down here I’ll be able to go more whenever I’m not working,” says Sam.

As well as being attracted to the lifestyle working at Peninsula Health offered, Sam says he was also impressed by the level of support given to junior doctors.

“I’d heard really good things about the hospital,” explains Sam.

“I know quite a few of last year’s interns and they’ve loved it. There’s a lot of support and really good registrars here who are very helpful.”

The Mentone Grammar alumnus will do five rotations this year, starting in general medicine on ward 5GS at Frankston Hospital before moving on to Rosebud Emergency Department (ED), then General Surgery, a rural placement at Warragul ED and finishing up with neurology.

On a normal day, Sam and the fellow doctors in his general medicine group look after 15-25 patients.

It was during his undergraduate degree in bio-medicine that Sam knew for sure he wanted to pursue a career in medicine, though he is still deciding which are he’d like to specialise in.

“I’ve always been interested in health, sport and nutrition, the human body and the challenge of constantly learning new things,” says Sam.

“I like the idea of working in sports medicine, the ED, Intensive Care Unit or General Medicine.”

In his first two weeks, Sam has learnt a lot – he’s cared for confused and agitated patients, called a code, used a new computer system and gotten his head around the preferred method of communication between medical staff, pagers.

He says one of the most rewarding experiences of his intern year so far though, has been being able to help a patient through a difficult time.

“There’s one patient who has been really sick, but just being able to chat to him about stuff outside of medicine, like the cricket and what he used to do for a living helps take his mind off things and normalises being hospital.”

Sam is looking forward to heading to Rosebud for his next rotation – for both the work and of course the hospital’s proximity to some of the Peninsula’s best surf beaches.


Jessica Mills